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martin_b

Curing Salmon Low salt.

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Guy's I've been asked by a friend who has to carefully control his salt intake if its possible to produce cold smoked salmon without using salt in the cure, or use the minimum amount possible.

I usually go about 70/30 to 60/40 salt to sugar, but is it possible to go say 80/20 sugar to salt?

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Hi Martin

It isn't the final residual amount of salt that is important - more the amount of moisture removed. If you start out with, say, a 50:50 mix of salt and sugar sprinked onto the fish surface the salt concentration will be sufficient to inhibit the surface bacteria after a relatively short period of time. If you then rinse off the surface salt/sugar after, say, 3 hours relatively little will have penetrated into the fish flesh - but relatively little moisture will have been removed too. You will therefore need to smoke for longer to get the moisture content down. Smoke at ~20-24 C for 24 hours and then check the weight. It needs to lose between 15-18% of its weight in moisture loss

If you use a mix that has less salt/sugar than 50:50 then you will probably need to add more of it. 
I would stick with the 50:50 mix and only leave it to initially cure for 3-4 hours and then rinse well under running water before smoking.

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Thanks for this, I'll give it a go, The only issue I can see is that I smoke outside, IYSWIM and I use a maze type cold smoker, so the temp is really just the outside temp.

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